It has been a while since I have shot any Collodion, a combination of low UV and having to prioritize commercial work over the last 6 months. Spring is still a vague thought but the UV levels will start rising shortly so I am about to start clearing and cleaning the darkroom and servicing all the cameras and lenses and I should start shooting in February.
From about March I will start doing some pop up days and individual days with my friend Joanna Maclennan who is another great photographer. We will start off around St Remy de Provence and Montpellier and then hopefully a bit further afield , possibly Barcelona and Italy would also be nice as they are both close to us. If anyone has any ideas or locations then let me know and also if you fancy coming along for a portrait session, either a quick sitting or an individual day. I will post more information about dates and locations over the next month of so and you can either email me or leave a message here.
I am very pleased to have another feature on my work published in Architectural Digest Middle East, again focusing on my work in the region. The editor Manuel Arnaut has been a great supporter of my work and some of my favorite pictures have been for him including the recent shoot with the Tigers in Dubai and the images of the White Mosque in Abu Dhabi. The opening image is also the work of another friend Christopher Hall an is another of my favorite images. There are also some of my early interiors work and portraits from the region. Click on View above to read the full article.
Having given me the cover back in October the wonderful team at B+W Photography magazine have very kindly done a larger spread on my work which has given me added motivation to go out and create a larger body of work based around a narrative. I hope to start this shortly but in the mean time have a look at the full article by clicking on View below.
So my exhibition in Abu Dhabi was hung last night and opens today. If any of you are close by then pop over to The Galleria on Al Maryah Island. The exhibition is split into two parts with the main body in the Great Room whilst the rest, and some of my favorites are near Almaz by Momos.
Here is a shot I took for the Momo's Cookbook of a man who was hunting in the Sahara Desert with a Sloughi, a sighthound found mainly in North Africa and originally from Ethiopia .
The exhibition is up until December the 6th and prints can be ordered by emailing me via the Contact page on my website.
A few weeks ago I arrived in Dubai late at at night and found myself at dawn the next morning on a beach next to the Burj Al Arab with six fully grown Tigers. They belong to Sheikha Latifa, the sister of Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and we were there to photograph them for a front cover of Architectural Digest which will come out early next year. It was quite a surreal experience being on a beach at dawn with six of these beautiful animals and as I took this shot I could not help but wonder where the other four were. The tigers were raised in captivity and are 'tame' but in your heart you always know that you can never quite tame a wild animal. It was an extraordinary experience being so close them and interacting with them after they had finished their morning fun and games which seem to consist of hunting one and other and then a nice leisurely swim and a stroll down the beach. We shot with an amazing team who care full time for the animals and I also managed to get some shots of some of the Sheikha's collection of horses and birds of prey that I hope will be published in the feature. All it all it was a great shoot and my thanks go out the Sheikha Latifa and her team for all of their help in making this happen.Read More
I have had a busy couple months on the road. I started in September by shooting room sets for OKA in the UK and then went straight to the Middle East where I shot a very diverse and interesting series of commercial work in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Beirut, some of which I will write about shortly. In the midst of all of this I was offered an exhibition in Abu Dhabi with some of my work in the Arab world over the last 20 years. This created a bit of a conundrum as back in 2005 my darkroom in London suffered a catastrophic flood which resulted in five serious years of litigation with the water company involved as nearly 20,000 images were destroyed, many of which were from my North African and Middle East archive. I flew back from Beirut and the first thing I had to do was dive into the remnants of the old archive. A lot of the images were disposed of as they had been completely destroyed and most had suffered water and drying damage so I have not opened the files for over 12 years as it was too painful but I urgently needed some images for the exhibition. Luckily due to the court case I had to catalogue all the remaining images so I knew where most of them were located. On first inspection a lot of the negatives looked fine but when we began to scan the damage became apparent but I was working with a wonderful printer called Walter Tjantele who worked some wonders with Photoshop and we managed to rework some old images. The picture here was taken in Algeria whilst I was shooting the Momo's Cookbook with a wonderful man called Mourad Mazouz, the owner of Momo's and Sketch in London. The image is of his sisters and sister in law and was shot in Kabylie in Northern Algeria and this is the first time I have printed it.
As a result I have decided to spend some time going through the archive to see what can be salvaged and with a bit of luck I hope to create a new body of work which I should probably call After the Flood.Read More
I was very happy to receive a copy of Black and White Photography in the mail this morning with my friend Tim Clinch on the cover. We shot the picture last year when he came to stay . There are a couple of pages on my work in this months issue and it is an honour to be on the cover as they have had some extraordinary work in previous issues. I have had great feedback from it and will try and post the actual article as soon as I receive it as it is an amusing piece but then I would expect nothing else from Mr Clinch. If you do not know his work check him out at http://www.timclinchphotography.com/
And many thanks to the editor Elizabeth Roberts and also Anna Evans.Read More
Another plate from my trip the week before last to Siena and Ramatuelle. This is Denise, my friend Marjolaine Leray's mother. I caught her just as she was heading to the beach and managed to get her to sit for a single plate and I love the fact that there is detail in both the highlights and shadows. I am going to add some more shots to the gallery now. If you love interior design check out Marjolaine's website at http://www.alm-ramatuelle.com/ . She is a brilliant interior designer and has 3 shops and galleries in the old olive presses underneath her house in Ramatuelle and they are well worth a visit.Read More
It has been a while since I posted anything here but I have been busy with projects. Last week I manged to grab a few days and headed to Siena and Ramatuelle with a car full of Collodion equipment and I managed to spend a couple of days shooting and will add some more images to the Collodion gallery on my website over the next day or so. It has been very hot which always raises issues with Collodion but I managed to shoot a few plates that I am really happy with . This one is of Ruby Watts by friend Miv's granddaughter and it was her wonderful mother JeanAnn Williams who kindly asked me to stay and I will add a couple of pictures of her to the gallery shortly. I also hope to update more of my commercial work over the summer.
This was shot mid morning in bright shade and an exposure of about four seconds and I was using my Dallmeyer 4D lens which was made in 1870 and is now my preferred portrait lens.Read More
I have just had a quiet week at home between jobs and took some time to shoot some Wet Plate Colldion over a few days. Saturday was WWPD 2016 and a friend Gemma came over with her two charming daughters who both sat for me. It was great fun and they really appreciated the images and the process and why they are so different from other types of photography. Here is a plate of Elodie who is Gemma,s eldest . I have been having some chemical issues but it is still a lovely plate and I am hoping that when my latest purchase, a wonderful Dallmeyer 4d portrait lens from 1869 arrives that they will both sit for me again.Read More
So I am just back from Beirut whee I was shooting for a private client. I have wanted to visit for years and after a week there I feel that is an amazing city and I am hoping to go back shortly and shoot some interesting stories I have found. It is loud, dirty ( due to to the fact that garbage has not been collected for a while), vibrant and the inhabitants just live for today. There is so much to see there that even after a week of walking all over the city I have not even scratched the surface. On one of my many walks I came across a small concrete church on a popular street. On passing it looked very unassuming but on closer inspection the door was extraordinary and made of brass or copper. The verdigris and patina which has come from thousands of hands opening the door has a beautiful quality to it and a segment is attached above.Read More
A couple of weekends ago I had a visitor in France, Josa Young, the great, great, great granddaughter of Julia Margaret Cameron. Josa and I share a mutual friend and she had heard about my Wet Plate Collodion work and expressed an interest in having her portrait taken using the process that her illustrious ancestor used. We had planned to do something last year but my commercial work made it impossible so I was pleased when we finally found some time. We shot a few images of Josa channeling Julia and there is one of them here and also a link to the post she wrote on the experience. Just for the record, my darkroom is not awash with cyanide, this is a sub taking license. When I work with cyanide it is in a totally safe environment and if safety is a concern then I work with a non lethal fixer.Read More
So a busy week. First stop Istanbul and then off to Riyadh and Medina in Saudi Arabia and now a couple of days off back in Istanbul before I start shooting here again on Monday. I spent the day ferry hopping between Europe and Asia and so here is one of my snaps from today.
So this is probably my last Wet Plate Collodion post for now, the UV is dropping and winter is on its way and it is time to head to warmer climes. This is a portrait of my friend and fellow photographer Tim Clinch who came to stay recently whilst shooting a large feature on wine in France. It is an Ambrotype, so shot on glass and it involved a 10 second exposure and Tim did really well to hold the look for so long. I am now leaving and heading off on the road to Thailand, Singapore, Dubai, Doha and possibly India so expect some colourful posts over the next six weeks.Read More
It has been a while since my last post but the summer was a particularly busy one with lots of commercial work and then I was shooting personal work whenever I managed to get home. I started up with 3 great boat projects in Malta, France and Spain which were great fun to shoot and I will post some pictures once I have permission from the owners. I then shot two series of portraits, one in Norfolk and a second in Scotland for two different clients and then off to Italy with one of the UK's leading interior designers to shoot an amazing story in Lucca. At the same time I was shooting quite a lot of wet plate collodion, the picture above is of my old friend Nick Zoll, one of the worlds leading fishing and hunting guides and also a conservationist photographed at home in Norfolk a couple of weeks ago. I then ended the summer with a large collodion commission for a private client that involved a 4700km drive from France to the Scottish Highlands. The weather gods were very cruel to us but we shot for three days in the pouring rain and managed to get a few lovely shots. Autumn now beckons and I am in the final stages of preparing for a trip to Thailand, Singapore and India which should keep me busy for October.Read More
Many years ago Mark Shand introduced his old friend Don McCullin at the RGS in London with the words " this mans eyes are our conscience " . I never forgot those words and on Sunday had the pleasure of shooting Don using the wet plate collodion process whilst he was down at Les Rencontres D'Arles. It was incredibly hot but Don was ever the gentlemen and sat patiently for two hours whilst I dealt with the various issues that shooting wet plate in 40 c throws up. A memorable day for me and an honour to photograph a man for whom I hold the greatest respect.Read More
Its been a busy time recently and I am now on the road for 3 weeks but I managed to get home for a few days and went straight in to a week of wet plate collodion photography. Above is a new picture that I am very pleased with, a portrait of Naomi Watts and her sister in law Jeananne Williams. It was shot towards the end of the day, not the ideal time for wet plate photography but it worked here. I love the stillness of this image. I have more pictures to come from some other sittings last week but they are going to have to wait to be finished when I get home.Read More
So the end of a busy week. I have just shot a couple of boats, one in Toulon and the other in Valletta one of the worlds great harbour's. For reasons of privacy I can not really name the boats or owners or share any pictures but I am hoping that at some point they will both be published. Two very different projects, one smallish and very contemporary and the other large and full of character and both with interesting interior design produced by masters of the craft. Its always interesting shooting boats, for one they involve shooting in very tight spaces and secondly they tend to move quite a lot which is challenging when you are doing 30 second exposures. Off again at dawn tomorrow morning and then back again for some collodion work before heading off to shoot a hotel and another boat.Read More